Fitness Advice for Pregnant Women
Physical & Mental Effects of Exercise
The health and well-being of pregnant women is greatly affected through regular daily activity.
Exercise during pregnancy reduces weight gain, triggers more rapid weight loss after pregnancy, and improves mood and sleeping patterns.
Some women can even experience a faster labor process and a lessening for the need for induction with pitocin from regular exercise.
Others are less likely to require epidural analgesia and have fewer operative births.
Blood flow shifts away from your internal organs so that your muscles, lungs and heart get a larger share of oxygen while exercising.
Keep in mind that extreme exercise can cause too large of a shift of oxygen away from the uterus so reducing the length of time that you exercise strenuously and monitoring your heart rate is a good idea.
The brain releases more norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that can reduce depression and influence blood flow to your heart and kidneys during and after exercise.
Norepinephrine increases smooth muscle contraction and can cause increased uterine activity in the form of painless contractions.
These contractions don't cause labor, but because of the possible influence on contractions, women who have risks for pre-term labor should consider mild exercise programs.
Elevated Body Temperature:
Core body temperature increases due to exercise.
It's possible that high fevers during the first three months of pregnancy can affect the fetus's development, however, extremely fit women can actually improve body temperature regulation and decrease core body temperature during pregnancy.
Keep caution when exercising in very hot weather and be attentive to adequate fluid intake during exercise.